American Legion Auxiliary Unit #347
Lady Lake, FL

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Office (352) 750-2099
9AM - 4PM, Mon - Fri

Lounge (352) 750-0639
12PM - closing

News - Last Updated 7/5/2020

Below are some recent happenings involving The American Legion Auxiliary Unit #347, Lady Lake, FL.

Recent Stories

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Auxiliary Installs 2020-21 Officers

     American Legion Auxiliary Unit #347 held an Installation Ceremony for its 2020-2021 Officers on July 5, 2020.

     Maureen Caswell, Auxiliary President said, "This year is going to be one of our most difficult to navigate. Our normal source of fundraising is being disrupted due to the restrictions at the Post for covid-19 safety. We will have to re-double our efforts and come up with unique solutions to maximize fundraising efforts. We will be starting off the fiscal year by assuming we have 1/2 the donation budget of last year. Anything we can do to improve on that will be a success!"

Most of the 2020-21 Auxiliary Officers were able to Attend

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Auxiliary Hosts 2020 Women Veterans Luncheon

     The American Legion Auxiliary Unit #347 hosted its annual Women Veterans Luncheon on March 9, 2020.  There were over 70 women Veterans in attendance and everyone had a marvelous time.  Professional photos of each Veteran were taken to commemorate the event.  A delicious meal was served and several Veterans spoke about thier experiences and how service has shaped their lives.

See The Photo Book HERE (Note this is a 5Mb file!)

More event photos are in the Gallery

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Auxiliary Unit #347 Fashion Show 2020

     Auxiliary Unit #347 held it's annual Fashion Show on February 9, 2020 with a sizeable audience in attendance.  Food was served, door prizes were won, and ladies pranced the runway in stylish fashions.
     The event was entitled "Hearts for Heros" with all the proceeds benefitting Villages Honor Flight.
      Thanks to all who helped make this event a memorable one once again.
     See more photos in the Gallery.

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Auxiliary Packs 60 Food Baskets for Local Families in Need

     American Legion Auxiliary Unit #347 packed 60 boxes of food for needy families from Villages Elementary of Lady Lake and Carver Middle School in Leesburg. Rows of tables in the Legion’s grand hall were filled with boxes of potatoes, cans of corn, green beans, and stuffing mix. Frozen turkeys waited In the freezer. The assembly process proceeded like clockwork, this being the 13th year the Auxiliary has donated food holiday baskets.

     Maureen Caswell, Auxiliary Vice President said, "This is a legion-wide effort that enlists financial support from all family members of the Legion, including the Legion Riders, Sons of the American Leglon, and the Legion Veterans."

     Download a copy of the article in The Daily Sun HERE.

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Auxiliary Unit #347 Holds 6th Annual OktoberFest Celebration

     What's October without the Auxiliary's annual OktoberFest Celebration?  Great food, fabulous music and dancing, friends, prizes, and FUN!
     "Al Brady" provided the music and the crowd had fun dancing.  We served authentic German food, desserts, and beverages.  We had a lottery board, door prizes, and a 50/50 raffle so everyone had a chance to bring home something extra.

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Daily Sun Publishes Article About Auxiliary Donations and Volunteer Work

     The May 15, 2019 edition of The Daily Sun newspaper published an excellent article about the many donations and generous volunteer work done by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #347.

See The Daily Sun article HERE .

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Poppy Day 2019 - Another Successful Fundraiser Plus


Our Department President, Michele DeGennaro (center) visited during the event, spending some time with our volunteers.
     Our Post 347 family pulled together for another successful Poppy Distribution setting another record in total donations on May 24-25, 2019, the weekend before Memorial Day.  We had over 120 volunteers located at 7 locations throughout The Villages and Lady Lake for 2 hours each for 2 days distributing approximately 7,000 poppies.  Including several generous personal donations we collected $10,745 for the Auxiliary's VA&R (Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation) fund.  We can't thank our volunteers and awesome Community enough for their support and generosity.

     Not only was it a successful fundraiser, it was also a great social event.  Members working with members, and the community coming to together with members.  It was all good!

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Auxiliary Hosts Second Annual Fashion Show

     On Sunday, February 17th, 2019 the Auxiliary hosted its Second Annual Fashion Show. Fashions included men's, women's, and children's items. Our volunteer models pranced the catwalk (hall floor) with high energy and grace.

     A light lunch was served for the entry fee of $15. Everyone had a great time, and we earned some extra funds to help support our Veteran, youth, and community causes. Thanks to all who helped make this event a memorable one once again.

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Auxiliary member Marie Ray helped organize a mock commission


Instructors Chase Stroud, Christina Ling, and Robert Trifu, with Auxiliary member Marie Ray
     Auxiliary member Marie Ray helped organize a mock commission meeting with students from the Villages Charter Middle School in Lady Lake. This is the fourth year that Marie has helped organize the event. Officers and teachers from Lady Lake participated: including Commissioner Ruth Kussard, Town Manager Kris Kollgaard; as well as Villages Charter Middle School Civics teachers Robert Trifu, Chase Stroud, and Christina Ling.

     Seventh grade students were selected for the mock commission based on essays they wrote in Civics class. Like a scaled down version of Boys & Girls State, the seventh graders debated several proposed town projects and decided how they would be funded and operated, and what benefit citizens would gain from them. Teacher Chase Stroud said, "They hear about taxes, but today they see how decisions are made that use tax dollars".

The Villages-News.com published a nice article HERE about the event.

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Auxiliary Donated 76 Food Baskets to Locals in Need

     On November 16, 2018, with support from the American Legion Post #347 and The Sons of the American Legion Squadron #347, the Auxiliary Unit #347 filled 76 food baskets; not only for Thanksgiving, but again for Christmas, making the holiday season a bit brighter for 76 families in our community.

     As you can see in the photo, purchasing, collecting, assembling, and delivering this many baskets is no small endeaver.  A special 'Thank You' goes out to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this happen.

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Auxiliary Unit #347 Presented the 5th Annual OktoberFest Celebration

     October is time for FUN and Festivities, so the Auxiliary decided to hold an event that embodied this spirit, OktoberFest. 2019 is our 5th annual celebration and everyone who attended, and even all of the volunteers who made it happen, had a fabulous time!
     We had dancing until 10PM to the music of "Al Brady".  We served authentic German food, desserts, and beverages.  We had a lottery board, door prizes, and a 50/50 raffle so everyone had a chance to bring home something extra.  Tickets were $20 per person, which was a very reasonable price considering the food, entertainment, and prizes.

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Madam President Ruth Sovern gave an update on Auxiliary activities for the Fall of 2018

    The Auxiliary has been busy planning our 2018 - 2019 year and with everyone's help we'll have another successful year of service to our Veterans, Community and Children & Youth.
On Veteran's Day, November 11th, after the Veteran's Day Ceremony, as our Thank You to our Veterans, the Auxiliary served a complimentary lunch to our Veterans (Hamburgers and hot dogs with baked beans, potato salad, chips and dessert). For all other guests the cost was $5. The meal was served in the lounge.
     Our Unit is now serving snacks at the Mulberry VA Clinic three days a month, serving approximately 150 Veterans each day. Our Sunday Bar Bingo proceeds allow us to provide this service to our Veterans. We're considering expanding to 4 or 5 days a month if we find enough volunteers and have the funds to support our endeavor so, Thank You for your support when playing on Sundays!
     From July through October, we've already donated well over $25,000 to our VA Clinics, VA Hospitals, Fisher Houses, Scholarship Funds, Camp Boggy Creek, Special Olympics, Final Salute, our local Community (including $450 per month to 3 local food banks), and to our local schools. All of these donations are done though your support of Bar Bingo (Wednesday and Sunday), the Thursday Bingo Kitchen, Trivia Food sales, our No Bake Bake Sale, and the $13.50 we get to keep from each of your annual dues of $35.
I look forward to even more great achievements for the rest of the fiscal year, with your help and guidance.

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Auxiliary Unit #347 Organized Annual Poppy Day in May 2018


Auxiliary members Lois Glosch and Patty Wyant at Poppy Day
     The May 2018 annual Poppy drive by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #347 netted more than $9,500. The Poppy has become a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice to honor the men and women who served and died for our country in all wars. Spokeswoman Lois Glosch said Auxiliary members and Veterans were stationed at various locations throughout The Villages and Lady Lake. She said the effort was successful in large part because of the work and dedication from “the entire Legion family from Post #347.”

     The money raised through the Poppy drive goes directly to support a variety of programs for Veterans, including: Sponsoring service dogs for vets suffering from PTSD; The Fisher House Foundation-a network of comfort homes where military families can stay at no cost when a loved one is receiving treatment; and Veterans Affairs hospitals.

     Glosch added that members of the auxiliary would like to thank local businesses and residents who were kind enough to support the cause that will benefit so many veterans throughout the local area.

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Auxiliary Unit #347 Honor Women Veterans at Luncheon

     The American Legion Auxiliary Unit #347 held a luncheon at American Legion Post #347 to honor women Veterans. Some 100 women veterans, including one who served in World War II, along with 80 of their guests listened to keynote speaker Dr. Carol Wolf Flack talk about her experiences as a Navy physician. Dr. Flack talked about her father, a World War II Veteran, who received a Bronze Star in the Philippines; how she met her husband, also in the Navy; and about her two children - one serving in the Navy and the other serving in the Army.

     “Today’s luncheon honors these women who choose to be in the military,” explained the program’s coordinator Carol Pirone-Udell, who is a past Unit President. “It is important that we recognize their evolution from non-combat roles to carrying a rifle, fighting side-by-side with men,” she said.

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Auxiliary Unit #347 Present Bicycles to Local Children


The children were super excited!
     In November 2017 the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #347, with the support of the Lady Lake Police Department, presented 34 bicycles and helmets to children that attend Villages Elementary of Lady Lake. The children, selected on the basis of need, received their bicycles at the Veterans Memorial Post #347. The children arrived early to participate in required bicycle safety training. They then filed outside and waited patiently as each child was fitted with a helmet and received a bicycle suited to their riding level. The children ranged in age from two to 14.

     In the past, the American Legion Auxiliary has financially supported bicycle events sponsored by the Lady Lake Police Department. This year under the leadership of Cathy Trout, 2017-18 chairman of the children and youth committee, the Auxiliary decided to take it a step further and hold their own event. They invited the Lady Lake Police Department to support them.

     “It took a lot of woman power to put this event together, but I think we did something really good here today,” said Lois Glosch, public relations chair for the Auxiliary.

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Auxiliary Unit #347 Awards Local Students

     Also at the Auxiliary's September 2017 Monthly Meeting, two local children were surprised to be receiving awards. Cathy Trout, Auxiliary Children & Youth chairman, presented the Good Deed award to Brooke Wiesenecker and Nathan Wurgler. This award came from the Auxiliary's national level and was combined with a certificate of appreciation from Unit #347. Both of these young people helped with Vacation Bible Study Bible at Life Pointe Church in Leesburg. “They helped out for the whole week with the four-year-olds; they deserve this award,” said Trout. “The purpose of this program is to let people know there are children out there doing good deeds.”

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Auxiliary Unit #347 Recognizes Student for Best Essay


Leesburg High School freshman Jordan Keller
     Leesburg High School freshman Jordan Keller was surprised at the Auxiliary's September 2017 Monthly Meeting to find out her essay, “What I can do as a student to be a better citizen,” earned top honors, making it all the way to earn Best Essay at the state level.  She is now in contention for the national award in the contest sponsored by the National American Legion Auxiliary.  Her essay was written last school year while she was a student a Carver Middle School.  “It is such an honor to receive this award,” said Keller. “The topic was important to me and I wanted to do it for Miss Morton, she is one of the best teachers I have ever had.” (Katherine Morton is an American history teacher at CMS.)

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